Shortly after returning to Ohio from Missouri, Joseph Smith received a revelation (Doctrine and Covenants 64) which provided guidance for church members on building Zion. Among the principles taught in this revelation were the importance of forgiving one another (v. 1-14) and paying tithing (v. 23-24). The Lord also encouraged them to keep working hard, even if their efforts didn’t seem to be making a difference. “Out of small things proceedeth that which is great,” He assured them (v. 33). (See also 1 Nephi 16:29, Alma 37:6-7.)
The day after receiving this revelation, Joseph Smith held a conference in the morning, then moved his family to the home of John Johnson in Hiram, Ohio. (See “Documents, Part 2: Hiram, Ohio, Fall 1831” on josephsmithpapers.org.)
A month and a half later, at the end of October, Joseph Smith received two revelations:
- A brief explanation of how to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Doctrine and Covenants 65)
- A personalized missionary call for William E. McLellin (Doctrine and Covenants 66)
Hear are some important themes in these three revelations, with relevant blog posts:
- We need to intentionally let negative things go in order to avoid perpetuating the damage and prolonging the pain (Doctrine and Covenants 64:6-9): Forgiveness.
- Our ability to receive forgiveness from God is directly linked to our willingness to forgive (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10): What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Forgiving Others?
- Only God knows enough to accurately judge the actions of others. Of us, “it is required to forgive all men” (Doctrine and Covenants 64:10): It Shall Be More Tolerable for Them – Alma 9:14-16.
- Forgiveness doesn’t mean we are okay with crimes going unpunished. It means that we are willing to trust the Lord to establish justice in His way (Doctrine and Covenants 64:11): What Is the Meaning of the Phrase “Vengeance Is Mine?”
- There are many reasons to pay tithing. One is as an expression of gratitude to God (Doctrine and Covenants 64:23): What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Tithing?
- Debt is a form of bondage. We must be careful with the obligations we choose to take on (Doctrine and Covenants 64:27): “Whosoever…Borroweth” – Mosiah 4:28.
- Seemingly simple actions can lead to miraculous results (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33): Because of the Simpleness of the Way – 1 Nephi 17:41.
- The Lord will magnify our “small and simple” efforts, as we engage in them over time (Doctrine and Covenants 64:33): A Time to Prepare.
- We need to have a firm mind and also a willing mind (Doctrine and Covenants 64:34): If Your Minds Are Firm – Jacob 3:1-2.
Grace and Truth
- The attributes of grace and truth are complementary, not conflicting (Doctrine and Covenants 66:12): What Does It Mean That the Savior Is “Full of Grace and Truth?”
- Grace is empty without truth; it is meaningful because God provides it while adhering to truth (Doctrine and Covenants 66:12): He Is Full of Grace and Truth – 2 Nephi 2:6.
- Our mission is to help build Zion (the kingdom of God) on earth, so that we will be prepared to receive Zion (the kingdom of God) when it comes down from heaven (Doctrine and Covenants 65:5-6): “Bring Forth My Zion” – 1 Nephi 13:37.
- The plan of salvation provides opportunities for all of God’s children to inherit His greatest blessings (Doctrine and Covenants 65:5-6): The New Jerusalem – Ether 13:10-12